John Coppinger

Jabba the Hutt/Graxol Kelvyyn/Yarua

John Coppinger is a sculptor with over forty years experience of re-constructing dinosaurs for museums and creating creatures for films and perhaps most famous for sculpting Jabba the Hutt for Star Wars Return of the Jedi. He also played Wookiee senator - Yarua and Graxol Kelvynn in Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace. 

Many years ago his interest in both art and science led to a job at London's Natural History Museum and then thirty years of special effects work in the British Film Industry. He was involved in the early days of Animatronics; a field which revolutionised the way animals and alien creatures are portrayed on film.

Besides Star Wars John also worked on many other creatures and characters, including the Diva in 'The Fifth Element'. He also sculpted for the BBC series 'Walking with Dinosaurs' which brought his work, and interest in science and art, full circle.

Whenever possible John has returned to his own work; sometimes writing but more often designing and sculpting mythical and fantastical creatures. Elements of the sensual are embodied in their forms; something John believes is inherent in our perception of living forms and the inspiration for much of human design. His creatures have no conscious origins; rather emerging from simple sketches that tap a reservoir of experience and observation.

Worked on/Appears in

Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983) 
Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999)